Our innovation consultancy services are wide ranging, but often follow a similar theme - our clients know that they have something great, but need an external set of eyes and lateral thoughts to bring this to the fore.
We specialise in getting to the heart of business problems by linking strategy and innovation. Our years of (very successful) experience in the world of business, mixed with our curious brains and a passion for unearthing gems of products and services gives us very high levels of success in working in such scenarios.
Our own particular types of innovation consultancy consists of some or all of these things:
Your competition is so much greater than it was even five years ago and demands on your business are also greater from clients, suppliers, online, industry press and more. So sticking with what worked in the past is not an option, with true innovation your way to step ahead of the competition and meet problems before competitors may have even thought about them.
Professional services companies offer third-party, outsourced, expertise to businesses in exchange for payment. This work is known as 'consultancy' and it can consist of actual work done for the client or advisory services.
In advisory mode, consultants offer their advice on problems faced by the business, or improvement of service offerings, procedures, practices and so on, whereas a consultant in implementation mode could be implementing new software into the business, or creating a new team, department, or division of the business, ready for someone else to take over at the right time. Implementation can cover so many different areas.
Because third parties professional consultancies are almost always independent, they are unbiased regards issues that may occur between business owners and staff of a company. Their goal is to complete assigned tasks, such as finding the route of a problem, or implementing a new system or procedure.
All industries hire consulting firms to help with technology, processes, organisation, management, and strategy among other requirements.
A consultant is typically someone that has great knowledge of a particular area, or areas of business and uses this knowledge to help businesses to improve in these areas. For example, an innovation consultant will help companies to operate more innovatively across the workforce by introducing innovative behaviours. Consultants often are one-person businesses, with them having spent significant time working within a sector previously. Some consultants work for large consultancies such as PwC, EY, Mckinsey, Accenture, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton, KPMG, and Deloitte.
Some consultants are hired straight from university as graduates, and get to know various business methodologies and principles. This always almost with the large management consultancies mentioned previously. A typical one-person consultant will usually have worked within a sector for some time, rising to management or director level, and decide to create their own consultancy business as the next move in their career.
Good traits of consultants include team building, listening, strategic planning, listening, handling of clients, and business analysis, but experience can sometimes trump even the most well-educated and technically-gifted consultant just a few years out of university.
A management consultant understands how business works from structure, to strategy, operations and management. Management consultants improve a business' performance by finding ways to do new things, and to do old things better. Management consultancies often operate in the corporate world, but are also hired by the public sector. In essence, the aim of such a firm is to reduce costs, make savings, but improve performance, output, and profits.
Known for its presence in IT, finance, HR, and marketing, management consulting spans almost every sector on the planet, but with much of the same actions - taking existing processes, teams, procedures, and employing new ways for these to work together, whether that involves bringing in outside influences, new tactics, or tried and tested internal company strategies from their 'playbook'.
When a management consultancy starts to work with a client that has not used an external consultancy before, many staff will be shocked by the hours worked and work-rate of most consultants. Typically, consultants are natural problem solvers, and enjoy nothing more than to be working on a problem, which leads to many strategy meetings, early starts, late finishes, and plenty of travel. Although many consulting firms have now put in place efforts to create better work-life balances for their employees, don't be surprised to see this kind of work ethic from a management consultant sent in to your business to help solve business problems.
When needing help with high-level decisions, then strategy consultants can help in an unbiased manner. Such an example could be the selling of one company to another, or the move into a new market or region.
Slightly different than a management consultant, a strategic consultant will usually work on a particular problem such as business growth or business strategy, rather than help with day-to-day issues and processes. Typically, employees within a company may think that they can advise on a particular strategic decision, but the advantage that an external party has is that they have a different mindset, a fresh pair of eyes, and do not know various issues from the history of the company. They also dedicate their time to the problem, without having to run another department, such as an existing member of the management team may have to do.
A typical project of a strategy consultant will consist of some or all of the following:
Just like a management consultant, strategic consultants need to have strong people skills, be very flexible with the work that they take on, have great time management, and be very analytical, leaving no stone unturned to find the best solutions.
A recent addition to the world of consulting, innovation consultancy has become a service required typically by larger firms that understand that they need to stay ahead of the curve in their sector or industry. This is especially true for technology companies, but many more smaller, and diverse companies are now outsourcing their innovation to consultancies such as ourselves.
It is no longer seen that companies such as Apple, Tesla, the all-new Microsoft, are the only businesses that should be pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in products, services and experiences. Examples of fallen giants, such as Kodak and Nokia, are commonplace and many business leaders are aware that such devastation can affect small and large companies alike, if innovation isn't something that the business places emphasis on.
Innovation consulting is offered by the large management consultancies, from boutique innovation agencies like ourselves, and in a different form (usually product design, or technology and software) from companies that innovate, but do not call themselves an innovation company.
Innovation consultancies such as our own company, offer help in areas such as identifying new products or markets, ideation (we do this by using our HiveMind platform), creating innovative behaviours across a business, which can change the culture of an entire company, in the recruitment of new employees - and indeed the changing of how people are recruited, and setting goals for the business to achieve. which often takes a business (and its leadership team) out of its comfort zone.
An innovation consultant can help a company in many disciplines, including helping to create new services, products, identification of new markets, and maximising output of departments or staff among others. We like to think that a consultant in the discipline of innovations helps companies to either become relevant again - which is often something that companies think they are, but is seldom the case - or to stay relevant for the future.
We help business leaders to fight the future, help clients to use storytelling, both internally and externally, and create a new channel, maybe even a culture, for innovation to flourish. We build cultures through process changes, through empowering, and through the egalitarianism of ideas. All businesses have a responsibility to operate efficiently, and this is where innovation and innovative cultures help.
In many cases, an innovation consultant's role is to make a company that says that they are innovative to actually become so. Talking about and actually being an innovative company are two very different things. Much of this happens with the application of innovative behaviours across a business, which leads to innovation becoming successful, no matter what the words of a CEO may be. In fact, we believe that the true goal of an innovation consultant is to ensure innovative behaviours happen no matter who the CEO is, or whether the person in this role changes in the future.
Contact us to work with us on an innovation consultancy basis.
We'd love to discuss how we can unlock the innovation in your business and work together. Call us on 0161 7060483.
We're an innovating UK consulting agency guiding SMEs to become innovators.
We help in tactical marketing, business growth strategy, and general innovative tactics.